Monday, July 31, 2006

Once More, For the Record

On Saturday, CBS Channel 11 here in Dallas put together a nice piece reporting on the decision by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to award Central Dallas Community Development Corporation $12 million in low-income, housing tax credits to be used in bringing the City Walk @ Akard project to the abandoned building at 511 N. Akard in Downtown Dallas.

The report was really thorough, balanced and longer than most stories we've gotten in the past. It also ran first as the 10 o'clock news' "top story."

One segment of the story involved an interview with a man whom I suppose already lives Downtown in one of the renovated, upscale high-rise buildings. The story had been positive until he began to talk. He referred to the recent incidents of violence and murder Downtown. He then described how he would be afraid to walk home at night by our building once it is completed and leased up. The clear implication was that formerly homeless persons and low-wage workers make for dangerous neighbors.

Just for the record, one more time, the violent crimes recently committed in Downtown Dallas in the wee hours of the morning have not involved homeless persons or low-wage earners. The violence has centered around popular night clubs and has involved people with money, cars, plenty of alcohol and more than one personal dispute that began inside the bars.

Just because a person lives on the street does not mean that he or she is a violent or criminal threat.

Just because a person has a low-paying job in the Downtown sector does not mean that he or she is a criminal lurking in the shadows ready to mug the first person who happens by.

After awhile, the negative stereotyping gets really tiresome.


Craig said...

And just because someone lives in the suburbs, drives a nice car, and has a good job, it does not mean that he or she is not abusive, violent, or prone to engage in questionable or even criminal behavior...

MommyHAM said...

Just skimming, but "here here!" on the last 4 paragraphs.

This homeless count has gotten lots of, "Well, how safe is this going to be?"

For crying out loud, folks, I did street outreach for homeless persons with mental illness who were totally off meds and everything - for 2 1/2 years and I'm still alive to tell about it - does that say NOTHING?

Oh, we all have a lot to gain from each other - why can't we see that?

MommyHAM said...

and craig- I don't think that's AT ALL what he meant.

Larry James said...

Craig, thanks alot! I agree with you completely. Mommyham, did you read what he said correctly? Appreciate your comment, but I'm not sure you understood Craig.

MommyHAM said...

oops, didn't see the "not" abusive...

So, now that I've properly read it - Amen!

Can I rely on the defense of "no caffeine" at the time of earlier reading? ;-)

John Greenan said...

Sorry, but IMHO the no caffeine excuse expires at 9:00 a.m.


Justin said...

how about "just because someone lives in the suburbs and drives a nicer car than you or has a bigger house doesn't mean they hate the poor or have forgotten them"

Judging a book by its cover is wrong any time you do it.

Larry James said...

Justin, thanks for your post. I agree completely. Judging people by external measures is usually a bad thing. It is better to reserve an opinion until you get to hear what they actually think and how they communicate their values and judgments. At least then, you can know who to try to work with.

MommyHAM said...

Well, John, I'll have you know that I was still covered by your standards - I'm in CO and it was 8:10 AM!!! ;-)

Justin - still right on - I don't think your statement necessarily excludes the one craig made, or vice versa. We are a bit touchy, no?

Justin said...


I am a little bit touchy about the subject. Yeah. My family is well off, and for the last several years, mostly I've had to deal with people around my age (and a few of their parents) who make snide comments about what we have, and judge us based on that. it hurts my feelings when people make judgements about my father like that, when they don't know how much he gives. I didn't know how much he made or gave until recently, but when I found out, I was even more proud of him than before. He is not one to waste money on things, and the nice things he does buy, tend to be investments rather than just stuff that is worth nearly nothing after you buy it (technology, cars, clothes, etc)

I guess not as many are in this situation, and I shoudl just count myself blessed that I have what I have and not worry about what others think, but when people impugn the character of your father baselessly, it kinda touches a nerve.